The Tonal Game

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Tonal Game (Sect. 15.1) is a fallback strategy by which a transmitted score is processed as a major or minor key. The strategy consists of three main defaults, the order of which is motivated by the Economical Principle: a tonality (first major, then minor)—the only context-free default; a robust key; and finally, a key. Chopin’s Mazurka, Op. 24/2, offers highly instructive examples of the Tonal Game at work, including a contextually motivated overruling of the very first default, a major tonality. Finally, Sect. 15.2 studies a possible connection between the extraordinary tonal richness of Chopin’s Mazurka and the emergence early in the nineteenth century of “Tonality” as a notion of both synchronic and diachronic content, most notably in the work of François-Joseph Fétis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Music Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameComputational Music Science
ISSN (Print)1868-0305
ISSN (Electronic)1868-0313

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Contextual Input
  • Economical Principle
  • Modulative Path
  • Tonal Language
  • Tonal System


Dive into the research topics of 'The Tonal Game'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this